Raise your hand if you've ever made your boyfriend drive you an hour away to go to the nearest Trader Joe's. Anyone? Just me?
It's no secret that I love Trader Joe's for it's convenience, prices, and array of awesome items and finds.
However, I am a little pissed off about their marketing strategy on some of their items.
Let's talk about "Reduced Guilt."
From what I can find on the internet, there are a wide range of items that Trader Joe's has so lovingly marketed as being "reduced guilt". This includes wheat crackers, guacamole, mac & cheese, chicken salad, and dips.
I have little problem with things being marked as "low calorie" or "low fat" if that's what they truly are, even though that's a story for another day as a lot of companies put that on products where they add a bunch of chemicals or other things to make up in taste for what they've taken out of it.
However, I am bothered by the phrase, "reduced guilt". If something says low fat, you can at least quantify how much fat you've taken out of it compared to the original product. How much guilt is in mac & cheese originally, compared to the newer version?
I get that they're trying to be clever and cute about marketing things that may be lower calorie or lower fat, but I have a problem with the deeper implications of this.
Eating is a necessity of life.
Eating is needed to sustain life, fuel your body, and to provide you the energy you need to be alive.
Eating should not be associated with guilt.
Even if I didn't have an eating disorder, this would make me feel bad about myself. Especially if I chose the *gasp* full-fat guacamole or mac and cheese over the reduced guilt options.
This mentality lends itself into diet culture and I think it's something worth bringing up.
Eating should not be associated with guilt. Period, full stop, end of sentence.
It's 2018 and time for us to call out the bullshit that we see in stores, advertising, and the world today. I love Trader Joe's but I think it's important that we realize the deeper implications of wording and marketing as they can have potentially negative consequences to consumers.
It's time to do better than this.
Hi, I'm Charlotte! I'm a 24 year old navigating life in NYC and mental health recovery. I am passionate about public health and eliminating stigma.